Handbook on Women in Business and Management
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Handbook on Women in Business and Management

Edited by Diana Bilimoria and Sandy Kristin Piderit

This comprehensive Handbook presents specially commissioned original essays on the societal roles and contexts facing women in business and management, the specific career and work–life issues of women in these fields, organizational processes affecting women, and the role of women as leaders in business and management. The essays shed light on the extant structures and practices of society and organizations that constrain or facilitate women’s representation, treatment, quality of life, and success.
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Chapter 2: Women and Invisible Social Identities: Women as the Other in Organizations

Joy E. Beatty


Joy E. Beatty Over the last century women’s participation in the workforce has increased, their employment in white collar and managerial jobs has increased, and the sex gap in pay has decreased (Powell and Graves, 2003). All these suggest that women have made significant strides in decreasing discrimination in employment. Despite this, gender differences still play a role in our daily worklives. Gender differences are revealed in commonly held stereotypes about personal attributes and behaviors. The original differences in gender stereotypes found by Broverman et al. (1972), that men are instrumental and women are expressive, are held by both men and women, have been consistent across time (Deaux and LaFrance, 1998) and are shared across cultures (Williams and Best, 1990). These persistent beliefs shape expectations about role performance, as people are expected to behave consistently with gender stereotypes. Despite the improvements women have experienced in employment statistics, the workplace is still a primary domain for the enactment of these gender stereotypes. Women are often stereotyped as emotional, nurturing and communal, a stereotype that is not highly relevant to performance in the task and achievement oriented environment of the workplace (Carli and Eagly, 1999; Heilman, 1995). Men are seen as more assertive, independent, competitive and analytical. This stereotype leads people to consider men to be better suited for tasks involving reasoning and problem solving, which are core processes of management. Recent studies have shown that good managers are still perceived as higher in stereotypically masculine traits than stereotypically feminine traits...

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